Three goals for the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

The aim of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, adopted under the Swedish Presidency in 2009, is to meet the challenges common to the countries in the Baltic Sea Region today. The Strategy has three main objectives: saving the sea, connecting the region and increasing prosperity.

The three objectives of the EU's Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region:

Saving the sea

Today, eight of the nine countries around the Baltic Sea are EU Member States, which means that we can exploit the opportunities of EU membership, for example to speed up the work on combating eutrophication, safeguard shipping, protect endangered species and prevent the spread of hazardous chemicals.

The EU's Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region aims to create consensus about how the Baltic's resources can be utilised and managed in a sustainable and effective way without being used up. A healthy sea creates employment opportunities in both tourism and fishing and contributes to the region's prosperity.

Connecting the region

The EU's Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region aims to facilitate closer cooperation, bringing the region together again after years of political and historical division. This includes integrating the road and rail networks and linking the energy markets.

It is equally important for people to have the opportunity to meet and work together in the context of, for example, student exchanges, research cooperation and cultural exchanges. It is also important to use the strategy as a platform for closer cooperation to combat cross-border crime in the region.

Increasing prosperity

All the parties to the Strategy belong to the EU Internal Market. This facilitates increased trade and the elimination of trade barriers and helps to achieve the Europe 2020 objectives of smart and sustainable growth for all. The EU's Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region aims to contribute to increased prosperity by way of measures to stimulate the exchange of skills, research and innovation and aims to reduce social and economic disparities in the region.

The countries of the Baltic Sea Region - with a population of some 100 million - are our nearest neighbours and main trade partners. A well-functioning local market is often fundamental to businesses' will to expand. Efforts to support trade and growth in our immediate vicinity thus help to shore up the region's global competitiveness.

New cross-cutting approach

These three objectives are closely connected and enhance each other. The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region represents a completely new cross-cutting approach within the EU and is supported by all 28 Member States. It brings together sectors and actors from local, regional, national and EU levels and ensures that good practice is spread around the region.